By BMSG Editorial Team
As part of recognising the work of our volunteer counsellors, we will be featuring our counsellors regularly in our monthly newsletter. Our counsellors come from all walks of life, which adds diversity to our counselling team. This month, we feature Alona Hodik, who is also caring for her three young children while studying to become an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). Alona is also a member of the BMSG EXCO.
1) Tell us about yourself.
My name is Alona and I am married and a mother of three wonderful children – two girls and a baby boy. I have exclusively breastfed my girls for about two years each and am currently breastfeeding my little baby and hope to continue for at least two years as well. We have been living in Singapore for three years now and previously, we lived in Hong Kong for more than five years.
I am a certified breastfeeding specialist and a childbirth educator and I’m currently studying to become an IBCLC. My passion is to help mothers and babies to have a successful and happy breastfeeding journey. It is not always easy but I strongly believe that with the right support and help, most moms can do it!
2) How long have you been a BMSG breastfeeding volunteer counsellor?
I have been a breastfeeding counsellor for a year now and I have really enjoyed it.
3) What inspired you to become a volunteer counsellor?
Ever since my eldest daughter was born five and a half years ago, I fell in love with breastfeeding and over the years found myself helping a lot of my friends and neighbours with breastfeeding their babies. After doing that informally for a few years, I have decided I want to pursue my passion more seriously and become involved in the Singapore breastfeeding scene. I couldn’t think of a better way than to become a breastfeeding counsellor with BMSG.
4) What were some of the most memorable moments you had in your counselling work?
There were a lot of memorable moments during the course of my counselling work but one of the most memorable ones is when a mum who was really struggling to breastfeed her newborn and asked quite a lot of questions on the BMSG Facebook support group (which I very happily answered), wrote in a separate post that finally breastfeeding was going really well and that it was thanks to the help she received in the group. This is why I love being a breastfeeding counsellor!
5) How do you juggle between your responsibilities at home, your counselling work and studying to become an IBCLC?
I am caring for my newborn baby and two older daughters on top of juggling my other responsibilities. It’s not always easy to juggle it all but I feel that my counselling work is so important that I just make time for it! I also rely on my amazing colleagues at BMSG who are always happy to help!